I am thrilled to share my journey of turning a beloved hobby into a profitable venture in this blog article. Discover how I made money from a hobby I love and learn how you can do it too!
As a mother juggling various responsibilities, finding time for personal pursuits seemed daunting. However, my passion for a particular hobby sparked an idea, and I took the leap to transform it into a source of income. Now, I want to pass on my invaluable insights and experiences to help you achieve the same.
Whether you're a creative crafter, a culinary enthusiast, an aspiring writer, or a photography whiz, this article will guide you through the process of monetising your passions. Get ready to unlock the true potential of your hobbies and embark on a thrilling path of financial independence and creative fulfilment.
Identify your passion
You cannot start an endeavour, whether it's a hobby or a business, without knowing clearly what you want to pursue and focus your energy on.
Before you start writing a plan of making money from a hobby, you need to have an honest sit-down with yourself. Be transparent with yourself by asking yourself these questions:
- What would be something that you'll be happy to wake up for in the morning?
- Is something a dream of yours only because you want the admiration of others?
- Or is it something that makes you truly proud of yourself?
Hone your skills
Great surf instructors start as beginner kids who loved to catch waves before and after school. Eventually they turned into teens and adults who have advanced surfing capabilities, before deciding they could actually make a living out of their passion and skills.
This progression makes a lot of sense not only for surfers but also for you.
Do you love baking cookies and are you thinking of selling goodies fresh from your oven? Then practice your techniques and perfect your recipe in consistently producing your signature cookies.
Honing your skills will boost your confidence and grant you the ethical licence to make money from a hobby.
Research the market
You can't go in blindly to just start a social media business page and carelessly offer your products/services without defining what you are offering and to whom.
Define who your target market is and learn about their buying behaviours. Think:
- Where do they look when finding products similar to what you are offering?
- Which channels convince them to buy the most?
- How much do potential competitors price their offerings?
- What is the gap in the market that you can fill?
- Will you have to hook up with a delivery/courier service to make purchases more attractive for your target customers?
Reverse engineer the buying process, ask all possible questions, and try to address all the gaps when it comes to your target customers' relationship with your niche.
Create a brand
I love this part a lot. This is when you get to express yourself and create your own identity and space in your chosen niche.
Based on your target market, your hobby, and your personality, how would you want your hobby/business to be presented and perceived? How would you like to appear and sound on your digital assets such as websites, social media pages, and sales funnels?
Visualise the space and identity that you would like to reside in as you make money from a hobby that you love. Would you name your small business simply after yourself (common among professionals), or would you like to think of a fitting chosen name for your business?
Colours and logos can immediately give customers a sense of who you are. Create colour palettes and graphic image assets that represent your passion and your aspirations as a provider. Give your brand a voice. Define how you should communicate with future customers; do you want to be the fun and approachable sticker maker? Or do you want to come across as a classy and professional nail artist?
Think about taking an online graphic design course, as having the knowledge to do your own design work will save you heaps.
Get your price point right
Aside from taking note of the going prices set by potential competitors and big name vendors, you need to also do your internal studies.
Compute how much you would be spending in total in delivering orders to your customers and determine how much of a margin you are going for. For example, when selling artworks, you need to take into account the costs of your materials, order packaging, and miscellaneous expenses before you even add profit and courier fees.
You don't want to be burning the midnight oil only for you to lose instead of make money from a hobby.
There are times when you don't necessarily have to go big or go home. Making money from a hobby is one of them.
You can start by purchasing as little inventory as possible; you don't need to go bankrupt just because you want to earn a lot in the smallest amount of time. Neither should you start paying thousands of dollars in ads when you don't even have the earnings yet that will recover those expenses.
Focus on getting the first 10-15 customers, enjoying the brand creation process, and building your digital assets, before considering quitting your day job.
Promote yourself through social media
Every market demographic and age group are on social media. The question is: in your case, which one?
By choosing the right social media platforms that are popular among your target clients, you are making your brand and your product/service offering visible for your potential customers.
If you want to make money from a hobby, you need to realise that social media makes the current market go round and the queries pour in. Social media pages are not only for your customers to find amazing small businesses such as yours, but it is also there to provide you and your customers the means to communicate and to build a community.
Use online platforms to sell through
Adding to cart and checking out is now the rule and not the exception when buying from small to medium-sized businesses.
Once you have identified the right selling channels that will help you reach your target customers, it's important to maximise these digital assets when setting up your hobby-business.
Make sure you also know how to use the payment and messaging functions of these online platforms so you can address your customer's concerns urgently. You will also want to beautify your profile and business page elements.
Network and collaborate
We all need a little help from each other.
This is why when making money from a hobby that you love, it is valuable to have people support you through endorsement, referral, networking, and collaboration.
If you are creating hair accessories, it would be a great idea to reach out to influencer who are mums, content creators who mainly focus on the hair industry. If you love making marmalades, collaborate with food content creators, or network with bottling companies, restaurants and pastry shops.
Opportunities are everywhere and you only need to look around with optimism and a fair amount of ambition so you can find and grab them.
Offer excellent customer service
No matter how seemingly small or unessential or boring your product/service is, the thing that your customer will remember the most is how you have treated them and made them feel.
Speaking with your suppliers and customers with genuine interest and kindness, paired with humour and the urgency to help, will put you in good graces with your customers.
Including small thank you notes in order packages, providing free shipping, and being friendy and attentive towards repeat- and high-volume customers are all great ways to offer good customer service.
Be prepared to adapt and change
As with any endeavour, changes should be expected in the horizon.
Whether it's having to re-price packages, replacing a supplier, or hiring more employees, you need to be mentally prepared that things might 'need' to change and being able to adapt quickly will give you an edge over other vendors.
Changes are also opportunities for you to see how flexible and creative you are as you spend more time making money from a hobby. Being rigid is not what made your hobby fun in the first place. Knowing how to make the best of a situation regardless the changes that come by will mould you as a hobbyist and entrepreneur.
Persevere and believe in yourself
To keep sane in running a small business, you need to keep those blinders on!
It's very easy and tempting to keep looking around and comparing yourself with others in varying metrics. Is their branding better than mine? Does she have more experience doing this service than I do? Do they have more customers than I do?
While being competitive can push you to be better, tread carefully. It is still much better to believe in your own capabilities and to nurture your own talent and style. Work at a pace that you find enjoyable and productive; you don't want to burn out and start hating your hobby.
Grow your earnings and build your brand, one order at a time. Keep your head in your own game and don't lose the passion and the reason why you fell in love with your hobby in the first place.